Bill to expand school boards’ role in addressing literacy problem 

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A BILL has been filed seeking to expand the role of local school boards to help address the country’s education crisis, particularly on literacy.    

“A child who does not know how to read is a problem for the whole country. In our fight against illiteracy, the role of our local communities is important,” Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian said in Filipino in a statement on Sunday.  

“That is why we will extend the role of our Local School Boards in the implementation of programs to ensure that every child learns to read and understand what they read,” he added.  

Senate Bill 473 proposes to amend Republic Act 7165 and strengthen the Literacy Coordinating Council (LCC), the lead inter-agency coordinating and advisory body on the formulation and implementation of measures to accelerate the universalization of literacy.   

Under the proposed measure, the LCC must formulate a three-year roadmap on achieving literacy in communities.   

Local school boards, on the other hand, will be mandated to formulate a local roadmap based on the council’s three-year roadmap.  

The senator, citing data presented in a recent education summit, noted that only four in 10 kids from Grades 4 to 7, aged 9 to 12, can properly read or write in English, according to results of pre- and post-exams taken from 2021 to 2022.  

The same tests revealed that less than half of learners from Grades 3 to 7, aged 8 to 9, could read or write in Filipino. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan